Susan Schock with the aroids she plans to transport to her
Susan Schock drove up from Key West to buy a wagonload of her favorite plants, alocasias, at the International Aroid Society's annual show and sale that opened Saturday morning.
"I came here in 1996 and saw the Fairchild Garden, and then drove to Key West and decided that's where I wanted to live,'' she said. Originally from Tucson, AZ., and then New Mexico, Susan was captivated by the tropical greenery. Today, she works in the plant department of Key West's Home Depot and grows a yard full of alocasias.
Devotees of aroids are like that: in love enough with these plants to travel the world or move from one side of the country to the other just to be with them.
Best in show of this beautiful event went to Lariann Garner's Philodendron 'Majarliki,' a cross between Philodendron bipinnatifidum and P. stenolobum. Lariann's Aroidia Research in Florida City specializes in hybridizing and studying aroids.
Blue ribbons were plentiful. Among the winners: Amydrium zippelanium from Palm Hammock Orchid Estate; Anthurium Big Splash from Denis Rotolant's Silver Krome Gardens; Anthurium luxurians, from Marie and Steve Nock's Ree Gardens.
Aroids are plants in the family Araceae. They are characterized by a "flower" that consists of a spike of male and female flowers, called a spadix, surrounded by a protective leaf called the spathe. The family includes Philodendron, Anthurium, Alocasia, Colocasia, Xanthosoma, Caladium and many more genera.